The Arizona End of Life Care Partnership is creating a model to promote advance care planning through Partner collaboration and community-wide care coordination. It has developed and implemented a broad-based coalition with a shared vision that all individuals expect excellent health care at all points in their life, to die having had their wishes honored, and that our communities and health systems respect cultural and individual priorities. The Partnership encourages broad community dialogue; recognizes and supports diverse communities through culturally-relevant initiatives; promotes the normalization of end-of-life care conversations, educates individuals and families about how to have the conversations with their loved ones and health providers; advances person-centered, goal-concordant care, hospice care and palliative care initiatives; creates a call to action to influence public policy and reimbursement practices; encourages collaboration to ensure best quality care; provides a neutral forum for information exchange in the face of competing priorities/entities; and champions both immediate and long-range initiatives to significantly improve end-of-life care.
Six foundational pillars guide the multi-pronged approach to the work of the EOLCP:
- Professional Education
- Community-Based Education
- Community Outreach
- Workplace Initiatives
- Policy and Advocacy
- and Partner Development
Action Teams support these six pillars and drive the work of the Partnership through cross-sector collaboration.
The following organizations have received funding from The David and Lura Lovell Foundation or its partner funder, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.
Current Grantee Partners
- The Dunbar Coalition to integrate end-of-life care planning workshops into their Health and Wellness Program. The grant allows The Dunbar Coalition to provide assistance and support to the Coalition for African American Health and Wellness (CAAHW) for end-of-life programming.
- Catholic Community Services to develop the Preparation for the Journey program designed to work with the Catholic Diocese of Tucson to expand its current outreach to families and parishes, hospitals and long-term care facilities, emphasizing the importance of end-of-life planning as recognized by the Catholic faith.
- Banner Alzheimer’s Institute Tucson to provide services that ensure that patients living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their families have the necessary resources to navigate from diagnosis through the years of caregiving, including a clear and comprehensive care plan that enhances care options, education and non-medical services.
- El Rio Health to support integration of Honoring a Life Workshops into current work with the El Rio Employee Value Health Incentive program.
- Health Current to provide a safe place to complete and store advance directive documents for Arizonans that will be updatable and accessible in real time by EMS, providers—the Arizona Advance Directives Registry (AzHDR)–so that end-of-life care will be guided by their wishes.
- Interfaith Community Services to support the Honoring a Life community outreach and education program with specific emphasis on faith-based communities and clergy.
- Pima Council on Aging to expand their Helpline services to older adults that provide information and coaching on advance care planning and decision-making, elevating end-of-life conversations, and ultimately achieving systemic change to improve end-of-life outcomes for older adults in Pima County.
- Southern Arizona Senior Pride to support the creation of an End-of-Life Planning Program for the LGBTQ+ community that provides guidance for preparing end-of-life documents.
- Southwest Folklife Alliance to support their program, Continuum: Multicultural Expressions in End-of-Life and to develop and implement a multi-pronged project to understand the role of informal caregivers in the end-of-life experience and preparation among vulnerable, diverse communities.
- Step Up To Justice to develop the Prep with Tech: End-of-Life Planning Project to help low-income residents of Pima County through expert, no-cost legal assistance in preparing wills, advance directives, beneficiary deeds, and Healthcare Powers of Attorney using an artificial intelligence technology platform to customize and streamline document preparation.
- Tucson Medical Center Foundation for the Goal Concordant Care Initiative (GCCI) to provide patient-directed care, informed by best practices, by offering provider education on advance care planning, the role of skilled goals-of-care discussions, the benefit of comfort care as an option, the development of a telemedicine system and Emergency Department staff training through a pilot project in Benson Hospital, a subsidiary of TMC.
- Tu Nidito to provide a Support Group for Children with a Parent/Caregiver with Serious Medical Condition. Tu Nidito represents the voices of children and families ensuring that any child who has someone in their life who is seriously ill or dying receives personalized education, resources and support.
- University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS), through the Interprofessional End of Life Care Training Partnership initiative, to transform cultural attitudes toward aging, serious illness, death and dying among UA health professional students and faculty by developing patient-centered education, ensuring that every health professional graduating from UAHS will have basic competency in serious illness and end-of-life care, and creating a cadre of healthcare professionals who promote advance care planning.
- United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona as the anchor organization for Arizona End of Life Care Partnership to provide for planning, direction, infrastructure, and support to Grantee Partners in the six pillars or strategies of the initiative.
Past Grantee Partners
- Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association to support Conversations in Serious Illness Care, a curriculum for professionals to promote advance care planning and communication skills; to develop Thoughtful Life Conversations to train healthcare professionals across the state how to have end-of-life discussions with their patients; and to support the Arizona Coalition to Transform Serious Illness Care (AZ Coalition) to improve the quality of care and outcomes for people with serious illness.
- Casa de la Luz Foundation to provide community-wide education covering a diverse range of end-of-life issues.
- El Rio Health for the RN Advance Care Planning Project, designated to create and test a model for an ideal end-of life care journey within the Community Health Centers utilizing current tools/models combined with other best practices in collaboration with the Arizona EOLCP.
- Our Family Services to support the deep integration of Our Family’s Elder Legacy Services within the Arizona End of Life Care Partnership’s end-of-life-care planning initiative, including participating in the development of the end-of-life-care planning curriculum and its community implementation.
- SEAGO Area Agency on Aging to prepare individuals in Cochise, Graham, Greenlee and Santa Cruz Counties to make informed advance healthcare planning choices that are consistent with their values and beliefs, and to have those wishes communicated and honored.
- The Tohono O’odham Nursing Care Authority Foundation to support stakeholder engagement, outreach events, and staff to facilitate needs assessments and community reports on end-of-life services for the Tohono O’odham Nation.
- University of Arizona Center on Aging to support The Living Will Project with the goal to design, implement and sustainably embed experiential and didactic educational activities on advance care planning into the four-year medical school curriculum at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.
How You Can Help
Take advantage of the resources of the Arizona End of Life Care Partnership to guide you in planning and accessing support for you and your loved ones and ways to become involved in fundamentally changing the way we talk about death. Complete your own advance directive.
Have conversations with your loved ones and health providers. Improving the quality of end-of-life care in every setting, as defined and communicated by individuals through conversations and health care planning, starts with straight talk identifying one’s values while living, and flourishes into end-of-life care planning that is documented and honored by loved ones, advocates and providers.
Support our efforts by becoming an Investing Partner of the initiative or one of our Grantee Partners and gain access to data, increased visibility, awareness of funding opportunities, increased networking and collaboration, and updates on trends and policies related to end-of-life care work.
In the context of the pandemic, serious illness and death have become mainstream themes in our community. It is more important than ever that efforts to ensure that people receive goal-concordant care at the end of life are sustained and increased. The Arizona End of Life Care Partnership is focused on the next stage of impacting social change around end of life by continuing to expand and address areas of critical need in these key areas:
- Data–refinement of measurements and outcomes
- Community Surveys–periodic assessment relative to the baseline and the impact of the pandemic
- Community Outreach–strategies for assessment of needs and inclusion of underserved populations
- Healthcare literacy—efforts to increase knowledge of and access to information and resources
- Community care coordination—enhanced efforts that focus on home-based end-of-life care across sectors
Sarah Ascher, Associate Vice President
Arizona End of Life Care Partnership